Maybe it’s been a week or a month—you’re in an exciting and committed relationship with your new healthy lifestyle. You meal plan, you work up a sweat on the reg, and you’re feeling good—maybe great! You can spend all day satisfied—your morning smoothie, your sensible lunch, your evening gym session are all blossoming into something more serious.
Then, the Other People show up.
While you have been cloistered away in your health and fitness, the world has been turning, and it wants you back. Whether it’s a friend’s birthday, a brunch invitation, or visitors from out of town who want to be shown a good time, one weekend of indulgence can change your loving and committed relationship status straight to “it’s complicated.”
There are buckets of health and fitness articles on the subject of getting back on the wagon and handling these issues and missteps: most of them are summarized in ‘don’t beat yourself up’ and ‘eat something green’ and ‘the second slice of cake does not double back and cancel out the first.’ (Ugh, I wish.)
What none of the articles seem to address is how paralyzing these situations can be. No only can it be hard to be in the middle of them and make choices (will everyone judge me if I try to pass on the nachos?!) but the after-party of them SUCK: greasy leftovers in the fridge (eat?! toss!?), heavy weigh-ins from salty water weight, and general self doubt.
Since I started trying to actively make changes to my lifestyle, I’ve had every scenario from above—birthday, brunch, visitors, and it’s not they’re confusing.
To totally mix metaphors, it’s like if my healthy lifestyle was a horse, after the weekend I wouldn’t be climbing back on, or even chasing it around the field, I would dumbly be staring at it, trying to remember what a horse looked like. As though my sudden flirtation with the old lifestyle made me forget how to canter with the new one.
Also kinda feels like going back to how it was before seems impossible, and yet moving forward, back into the arms of the new lifestyle seems desperately out of reach. You wonder how all your work can be so easily undone. That leads to more paralysis as you ponder everything you eat, everything you do, and how it weighs in as a relationship “do” or “don’t.”
Maybe I’m the only one going through this. Last weekend was pretty rich in terms of food stuff, so the only thing I can vouch for right now is to try and re-ignite the romance. I had to spend some loving face time with my new SO. How do you bring the fire back into an “it’s complicated?” You can try a new food or recipe, (I’m telling you, stop second guessing and eat SOMETHING, I promise it won’t hurt), a new fitness video, or even take time to set out small goals or a plan for the next time company comes around to party.
Good relationships, after all, come with a little built-in space—and sometimes, that space is going to be jammed with poutine and beer.